Category Archives: Fun
I had no cooking challenge this weekend, because on Sunday, we went to the annual Farm to Fork picnic instead. Farm to Fork is a fun event in which local farms team up with local restaurants to offer tasting portions of dishes made from fresh, local food. It’s held on the Breeze Family Farm in Hurdle Mills, NC. This year, it benefited the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and Plant at Breeze Farm Enterprise Incubator.
There were a lot of great dishes, but our favorite this year was the one offered by Toast, which was teamed with Bluebird Meadows Far. They served arancini with grilled eggplant, Carolina gold rice and Chapel Hill Creamery smoked mozzarella on heirloom tomato passata. This was a zingy, smoky fried rice ball in a tomato sauce that just sang in my mouth. As a bonus, Toast was reviewed in the New York Times travel section last Sunday, along with other local favorites Rue Cler and Scratch Bakery.
Here were some of our other favorites of the evening: Chapel Hill Creamy mozzarella and tomato summer pudding from Magnolia Grill; heirloom tomato, cucumber and squash bruschetta with smoked corn aioli from Chef and the Farmer; fried bread-and-butter pickles from McAdams Farm & Market; and orecchiette Genovese from Il Palio. My husband loved the Stone’s Throw Pizza, my toddler sucked down two dreamsicles from Watts Grocery, and I enjoyed the wine offering from Wine Authorities. It was a great evening.
Attending Farm to Form is becoming a tradition for us. We can’t wait to go back next year.
This is being touted as a real North Carolina doughnut: a Krispy Kreme doughnut (born in NC) with Cheerwine filling. If you don’t know what Cheerwine is, it’s a weird cherry-tasting soda created in Salisbury, NC.
As someone who used to eat two Krispy-Kremes (glazed) for lunch each day in her high school cafeteria, and who would be happy never to see another Krispy-Kreme again, this looks gross. But I guess it is quintessentially North Carolinian.
Krispy Kreme Cheerwine doughnut introduced at State Capitol (News & Observer)
Yesterday was the annual Farm to Fork picnic. Chefs from local restaurants team up with local farmers to create tasting dishes for the 600 attendees to enjoy. We walked the large circle of chefs’ tables several times, grabbing a taste here or there, but I don’t think we got to try everything. The food seemed to go fast! I was too busy eating to take notes on who made what (although I know many of my favorite local chefs were there), but here were some of my favorite dishes:
- pulled pork barbecue, a regional favorite
- shrimp ceviche with a spicy tomato salsa
- strawberry gazpacho with a jalapeno kick (my 2-year-old also loved this)
- strawberry sangria – very refreshing
There were also wines to taste, plenty of breads and cornbreads to choose from, and lots more food. It’s hard to tell how much you’re eating of all the little plates until you get home and start to groan. We had spatters of rain but nothing serious, and at the end of the evening, we were treated to a rainbow.
All in all, it was a great time. We’ll definitely be back next year.
I recently updated all my iPod playlists, which got me thinking about the best music for cooking. I like to cook to upbeat music that I can sing along to and that gives me energy. The music doesn’t have to be about food or cooking, but it’s fun when it is.
Here is my personal cooking music playlist:
- “Honey Pie” by the Beatle
- “Strawberry Letter 23″ by The Brothers Johnson
- “Sheep Go to Heaven” by Cake
- “Happy Meal” by The Cardigans
- “Soul Kitchen” by The Doors
- “Rotten Peaches” by Elton John
- “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple
- “Sugar Magnolia” by The Grateful Dead
- “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson
- “Jambalaya” by John Fogerty
- “Yummy Yummy Yummy” covered by Julie London
- “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat
- “Sweet Side” by Lucinda Williams
- “Church” by Lyle Lovet
- “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp
- “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads
- “This Must Be the Place” by The Talking Heads
- “Honey Bee” by Tom Petty
- “And It Stoned Me” by Van Morrison
- “One More Cup of Coffee” covered by The White Stripes
What are your favorite songs to cook to?
Easter is not a big cooking holiday for me. I usually go somewhere else for dinner and don’t get to contribute. (Although I will take any excuse to make or eat deviled eggs.) But now that I have a toddler, I am sure that Easter egg dyeing is in my future. Here’s a nice guide to dyeing eggs the natural way from Mother Nature Network.
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I just have to take a moment to call attention to a couple of my favorite food-related blogs.
First, there’s Cake Wrecks. You’re probably already reading this, but if you’re not, you should be. It’s surprising how entertaining photos of bad cakes can be. Every Sunday there’s a selection of super-sweet cakes to counteract the wrecks.
Then there’s Wine Woot! In case you aren’t familiar with Woot!, it’s a daily deals blog, usually techy or geeky toys. Wine Woot! is the wine equivalent, with a new deal every week. I’ve found some really nice bargains here, but even when I don’t, I always enjoy the wine descriptions and ensuing discussions.
Here’s an interesting game I just made up: Name 5 things you should always have in your refrigerator, your freezer and your pantry.
Just to make it a little easier, I’m not counting the “staples.” So, assuming you already have garlic, onions, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, flour and sugar, what 5 things you should stock in each area to ensure that you can always make a tasty meal?
- Cheese (preferably more than one variety, but if I have to have one, I’ll go with Parmesan)
- Salad greens
- Dijon mustard
- Italian sausage
- Boneless chicken breasts
- Pizza dough
- Sandwich or hoagie rolls
- Diced tomatoes
- Canned white beans (cannellini)
- Red wine vinegar
- Chicken stock
If you decide to play, leave a link to your post in the comments!
Step 1: Remove tray. Otherwise, baby will use newly cleaned hands to finger-paint in leftover food.
Step 2: Clean one hand while baby digs for in his bib or lap for tasty morsels that he was “saving for later.”
Step 3: Remove bib (see Step 1).
Step 4: Quickly clean other hand before baby wipes it all over clothing.
Step 5: Clean mouth, chin and neck area. Baby will now start screaming as if you are murdering him.
Step 6: Wipe down clothing and chair while baby is distracted by his own hysterics.
Step 7: Remove baby from high chair and shake gently over the dog.
Step 8: Five minutes later, notice large area of face, hands, arms or clothing you overlooked. You may safely ignore this as long as your mother or mother-in-law is not around.